Nar3: Japan

Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2004 at 8:20am by Brett.
(Thursday, January 29th, 2004 at 10:20pm Japanese Standard Time)

Tragic! My life is tragic!

This evening, as usual, I had band practice. Thursdays are usually fun because instead of the full band, it's ensemble practice. The members of the ensemble I joined have christened our ensemble "Brett, the Ensemble (In hiragana)", and we'll be playing in the concert next month.

Everything went really well during practice. All the technical parts of the song are pretty much under our fingers, so we were only working on making it sound more musical. We played until about 8:45, and then started getting ready to go, because we had to be out of the building by 9:00.

We were having some small talk, and I asked how much the concert is going to cost, because some of my friends are wanting to see how my namesake performs. Turns out the concert is free for them, but costs 1800 yen for me...grr...whatever, I guess.

I started asking which of the other songs we're going to play, and the guy gives me a funny look.

"<Other songs? This is an ensemble concert...>"

I got a panicked feeling. "<Oh...We aren't playing all these songs? Well..when do we play them?>"

"<They're for the spring concert.>"

"<Spring..>" It ...(More)

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The solo
Posted on Tuesday, January 27th, 2004 at 8:31am by Brett.
(Tuesday, January 27th, 2004 at 10:31pm Japanese Standard Time)

If you've been living under a rock for the last couple weeks, you may not be aware that I joined a band here at Tsukuba. Current feelings about the amount of time it consumes aside, and the fact that I'll get no credit for it when I return to OSU, and the fact that I never understand exactly what's going on, it's been a very...hrm...interesting experience.

I had been purposefully (or "on purposefully"...one of my favorite Japanese-English expressions) putting myself in the last or penultimate chair as to not chance the other saxophones mistakeningly thinking I would want to play anything along the lines of a solo. My chair has always been a cosy one....nice and safe.

We're getting ready for a concert that, for those of you who are counting (read: me...counting like the DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS BABY!) there are 18 days left until our concert, which just happens to coincide with the day I'll run screaming from the band room screaming "I'm free! I'm free!!!" never to return. I really don't know what they're thinking, but they're still adding music. We just reveived two new songs ...(More)

( Read More | 111 views | 5 Comments )

Lord of the Rings
Posted on Monday, January 26th, 2004 at 12:21pm by Brett.
(Tuesday, January 27th, 2004 at 2:21am Japanese Standard Time)

I've never really gotten into LotR. I fell asleep while watching the first movie, and actually just watched it completely about a week ago. I'm working on the second movie right now. It just doesn't hold my attention.

Many of you have probably heard the The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins as sung by none other than Leonard Nimoy. I've heard that this song was used for some animated mini series or something. This song follows with a very unfortunate idea that Star Trek actors should start singing...orginally dreamed up by William Shatner with his infamous "hits" like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (often considered to be the worse peice of recorded music to date) and Mr Tambourine Man.

Though the Ballad doesn't inflict that absolute pain that either of good old Bill's songs do, I recently discovered that there is, in fact, a music video that Mr Spock himself starred ...(More)

( Read More | 102 views | 3 Comments )

Posted on Saturday, January 24th, 2004 at 9:19am by Brett.
(Saturday, January 24th, 2004 at 11:19pm Japanese Standard Time)

This site is exactly the kind of site I was talking about!

( Read More | 78 views | 1 Comment )

Site promotion and Harry Potter
Posted on Thursday, January 22nd, 2004 at 9:00am by Brett.
(Thursday, January 22nd, 2004 at 11:00pm Japanese Standard Time)

I made the mistake a couple days ago of looking at the stats for nar3 (and its subdomains) and decided that japan.nar3 just isn't popular enough.

Some of you may remember waaaaay back in 2000 and 2001 that I was running a full time webcam in my college dorm. I had a little online journal going...it was a modest site, though the webcam brought in a load of traffic to it. I was listed in many online webcam directories, and it was a really cool way to meet random net people.

However, times change, and so does the net. Many webcam directories have turned into nothing but cheap smut, and now, any Jane or John can get an account at one of many online journals or blogging sites. Basically, 14 year old west coast girls have taken over and defiled the once fine art of blogging; and 16 year olds with their amazon.com wishlists in hand--and lack of morals, shame, and self-respect--have turned webcam sites into cheap entertainment for dirty old men.

Even though, I am going to start adding my website to some of the more respectable webcam directories. I don't know how long it will take for the webcam surfers to ...(More)

( Read More | 119 views | 3 Comments )

Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2004 at 8:41am by Brett.
(Tuesday, January 20th, 2004 at 10:41pm Japanese Standard Time)

I've updated the Trip to Kyushu posts. I remembered the day I forgot, and I posted the last day.

They're posted in order, so look below this post to read them.

( Read More | 63 views | 0 Comments )

Site update
Posted on Sunday, January 18th, 2004 at 2:15am by Brett.
(Sunday, January 18th, 2004 at 4:15pm Japanese Standard Time)

As requested, and as I have been meaning to do for a long time, I've updated the comments so you don't have to click 124523 times to read one. Check your user options and set the comments to be fully expanded if you want to see the full text of the comments.

Non-registered users have to click. bwa ha ha.

( Read More | 107 views | 1 Comment )

Posted on Friday, January 16th, 2004 at 8:32am by Brett.
(Friday, January 16th, 2004 at 10:32pm Japanese Standard Time)

Is that...why yes, it is! The sound of Brett letting off steam!

Oh where to start.

Anyone that has spoken to me recently knows that I've joined a band here. It's called the "Tsukuba Daigaku Suisou Gakudan", and while this phonetically sounds like it means "The Tsukuba University Winds Band," the kanji that are actually used translate to "Time-sucking leaches--run away, run away, run away".

This band meets 18 hours a week. My classes meet 12! They're CRAZY about it. I mean, don't get me wrong. I like playing music. I like playing my sax...but come ON people! Don't you guys have lives? When do you do homework! Eat? Sleep? Shower?!? I can't spend every waking moment in that band room! I'm pretty sure they're all Vulcans...and the guy that's been showing me around, he's Tuvok.

I understand that we have a concert coming up in February, but c'mon. I have a life. I'm not spending it in that band room!

Oh, if you were wondering, The Ohio State University is the money-grubbing corporate whore-beast that apparently employs ...(More)

( Read More | 559 views | 9 Comments )

Kyushu: Day 8 (Jan 7)
Posted on Wednesday, January 14th, 2004 at 8:28am by Brett.
(Wednesday, January 14th, 2004 at 10:28pm Japanese Standard Time)

Sei and I came back to Tsukuba today.

We got up "early" and Yuuko had made us breakfast. It was a more traditional breakfast...like what Sei's family servered.

I decided I really like the traditional Japanese breakfast. It's nice...that's all.

Yuuko, instead of serving salmon like Sei's family had, served a smaller fish...cooked, but whole. When I first came to Japan, and just...in general, I try to (sometimes force myself to) try different things. I'm glad to say that there has been only one thing placed in front of me since I came here that I wouldn't eat, and it was large, red, fish eggs. I just couldn't eat them.

So, I'm eating my rice and miso soup, and look at the fish. I decide to give it a try, and pick it up. It was a split second decision--Head side or tail side first? I picked head side...my reasoning was that food goes in on that side...

I take a bite and chew. It tastes, as expected, like fish. I'm chewing when it suddenly hits me. I just ATE a fish head. The head of a fish is in my mouth, and I'm chewing it. I felt a little...a little warning, if you will, that if I want to continue eating breakfast, I need to immediately swallow or ...(More)

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Kyushu: Day 7 (Jan 6)
Posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2004 at 8:09am by Brett.
(Tuesday, January 13th, 2004 at 10:09pm Japanese Standard Time)

I woke up this morning not knowing the day that was ahead of me.

Hiroki was returning to Fukuoka where he goes to school, so his father, Hitomi, Sei and I went....pretty much all over the prefecture.

First we went to view the live volcano that was in Kagoshima. I cannot for my life remember its name. Unforunately, an hour and a half ride later, it was too foggy to see it from the observation spot.

After that, we went to the Kagoshima Zoo. It was pretty cool, but zoos are always just a bit weird. My friend got on me for not setting all the animals free. Interesting thing, though, was that while we were looking at the monkeys, two young Japanese kids came up to me, and said "Gaikokujin da! (It's a foreigner!)". I turned to them and said "Kodomo da! (It's a kid!)". They left.

Also, at the zoo, we ate this weird sweet bean paste soup with mochi. It's...it was very odd. I liked it, but it was waaaay too sweet for me to eat all of it.

After the zoo, we went to the Kagoshima Aquarium. That was a very....unique experience. I heard Hiroki's dad saying "Ohh I'm hungry...that looks tastey!" referring to the fish in the tanks, but I thought he was just joking. ...(More)

( Read More | 102 views | 2 Comments )

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